Miss Prudence Merryweather Payton has a secret.
Everyone knows that she's the only graduate from her finishing school to remain unwed on her fourth season—but no one knows why. With her romantic illusions shattered after being compromised against her will, Prudence accepts a proposal even though her betrothed is not exactly a knight in shining armor. When he cowardly pushes her out of their stagecoach to divert a highwayman, she vows never to trust another man again.
John Roark, Viscount Castleton, is nobody's hero.
He's a blue-eyed charmer with a mysterious past and ambitious plans for his future—that do not include a wife. When he finds himself stranded at a country inn with a captivating young woman, a delicate dance of seduction ensues. He knows he should keep his distance. And he definitely shouldn't start falling in love with her.
When Prudence's dark past comes back to haunt her, John must protect her—even though he risks revealing his own secrets that could destroy his future.
Sarah of Doìre knows the pattern of spells is no accident. With each page, each powerful rune, she and Ruith are being led somewhere, to someone-but by whom, she cannot tell. Sarah's gift of sight only allows her to see the spells themselves, not the person behind them.
A reluctant sorcerer still learning to trust his own magic, Ruithneadh of Ceangail knows he's woefully unprepared for the adversaries they'll face. But he and Sarah must collect and destroy his father Gair's spells soon. Many mages seek their power, and in the wrong hands, Gair's magic would plunge the Nine Kingdoms into an eternity of darkness.
But as they pursue the final spells-acquiring strange companions, welcome allies, and unexpected foes along the way-Sarah and Ruith realize that their true quest has only just begun. The real enemy is closer, darker, and more power hungry than they ever imagined; and until he is defeated, the fate of the Nine Kingdoms hangs in dire peril.